Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Chocolate chip loaf cake tastes extra moist and is loaded with chocolate chips in each bite. This easy butter cake is manageable and convenient because it’s smaller and quicker than a traditional layer or sheet cake. There’s no complicated decorating required and each slice comes with a fudge-like chocolate peanut butter garnish on top.

slices of chocolate chip loaf cake

Have you ever tasted an Entenmann’s or TastyKake style treat? You know those store-bought confections like breakfast pastries, donuts, donut holes, dessert cakes, etc? Well, we created a homemade version of those mass-produced treats. Completely not on purpose– the goal was to make a simple and scaled down chocolate chip cake, but tasting this brought us back to our childhood snacking on chocolate frosted donuts.

A very happy and delicious accident, if you will.


Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Details

  • Texture: This is basically a super moist butter cake scaled down to fit a loaf pan. I loosely adapted the recipe from our raspberry swirl pound cake, but made today’s version much lighter. You’ll notice fewer eggs and butter and the addition of milk to lighten up the batter. Consider this a VERY light-crumbed pound cake. We recommend slicing it while it’s still a little warm so the chocolate chips are extra melty.
  • Flavor: If you love butter and chocolate, you’ll enjoy this chocolate chip loaf cake. We recommend using mini chocolate chips so you get dozens of chips in every single bite. You can leave the loaf cake plain, but we certainly didn’t regret garnishing it with a glossy chocolate peanut butter topping. Yes, this loaf cake is nearly perfect.
  • Ease: We have a basic butter-based cake on our hands and the great news is that there’s no crazy assembly or complicated decoration required. All of the equipment (mixer, loaf pan) and ingredients are pretty standard for a baking recipe. We always appreciate an easy dessert that delivers big.
  • Time: Set aside a few hours to complete this recipe which includes preparing the batter, baking, and cooling.

chocolate chip loaf cake

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake Batter

We want you to feel confident when it’s your turn to try this loaf cake recipe, so we’re explaining each ingredient. If you keep scrolling, you’ll find the full printable recipe.

  1. Butter & Sugar: Like many cake recipes, creamed butter & sugar make up the base of this recipe. Make sure you’re using proper room temperature butter. This does not mean very soft butter– rather, room temperature butter is cool to the touch. If it’s melted in the slightest, your cake is doomed from the very beginning. Feel free to borrow our trick for softening butter quickly.
  2. Eggs: 2 eggs add structure and tenderness to this loaf cake.
  3. Sour Cream: Sour cream works hard in cake recipes, making each crumb moist and tender. Even a little bit (1/4 cup) makes a big difference.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor. If you have homemade vanilla extract on hand, this chocolate chip loaf cake is a great place to use it!
  5. All-Purpose Flour: We tested the recipe using cake flour, but it proved to be much too light– the cake lost most structure. All-purpose flour is the ideal choice. We haven’t tested any gluten free variations.
  6. Baking Powder: Baking powder adds lift so this isn’t a super dense loaf cake.
  7. Salt: Salt offsets the sweetness.
  8. Milk: Most cake recipes include milk and this is to help thin out the batter so you get a cake-like crumb. For best results, use whole milk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. If you want to use buttermilk, you absolutely could but we recommend replacing the milk AND sour cream with buttermilk. Use 3/4 cup buttermilk.
  9. Mini Chocolate Chips: You can use regular chocolate chips, but just like with our chocolate chip scones, we prefer using mini because you enjoy more in each bite. We use semi-sweet, but milk chocolate or dark chocolate work too. We’re sure white chocolate or butterscotch morsels would be tasty as well.

NOTE: The batter is a little thick and lumpy. During the mixing process, you’ll notice that the wet ingredients don’t emulsify together very smoothly– that’s ok! It’s nothing to worry about because once you add the dry ingredients, everything comes together.

chocolate chip cake batter

loaf cake before and after baking

You’ll Love This Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping

Feel free to serve this chocolate chip loaf cake plain, but if there’s an opportunity for chocolate and peanut butter, we should take it. This is the same topping we use on our no bake peanut butter bars. Made with just 2 ingredients, it’s thick, glossy, and eventually sets into a fudge-like consistency.

Other options are chocolate ganache (halve the recipe), salted caramel (halve the recipe or keep leftovers), or serve each slice with fresh whipped cream and berries.

chocolate peanut butter topping in glass bowl and on a loaf cake

butter loaf cake with chocolate chips

Enjoy More Chocolate Desserts

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slices of chocolate chip loaf cake

Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: serves 8-10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This super moist and buttery chocolate chip loaf cake uses basic baking ingredients and tastes unbelievable with a 2 ingredient fudge-like glaze on top.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (180g) mini chocolate chips

Optional Topping

  • 1/2 cup (90g) mini chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and generously grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and beat on high speed for 1 minute, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture will be very lumpy and appear curdled– that’s ok. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer to low speed and as the mixer runs, slowly pour in the milk. Beat on low speed just until all of the ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no large lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour and spread batter evenly into prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake for about 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. That time is a guideline— all ovens differ, so keep a close eye on the cake after 55 minutes. If the cake is browning too quickly on top, loosely tent with aluminum foil as it bakes.
  6. Cool cake in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing from the pan. Feel free to continue cooling it directly on a wire rack or slice and enjoy then. (It will still be slightly warm.) You can drizzle the topping on the cake when the cake is still slightly warm after that 1 hour of cooling or wait until the cake has cooled completely to top it.
  7. Optional Topping: Stir and melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove or in a heatproof bowl using the microwave. We usually use the microwave and melt in 30 second increments, stirring after each until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Topping sets into a fudge-like consistency after several hours.
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store cake (with or without topping) at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Topped or plain cake freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or serve cold.
  2. Sour Cream & Milk: Feel free to replace the sour cream with lowfat plain yogurt. For best results, use whole milk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. If you want to use buttermilk, you absolutely could but we recommend replacing the milk AND sour cream with buttermilk. Use 3/4 cup buttermilk.
  3. Chocolate Chips: 1 standard 12 ounce bag is enough for this recipe. You can use regular size chocolate chips in both the cake and topping. We prefer using mini because you get more in each bite and for the topping, they melt down easier. We use semi-sweet, but milk chocolate or dark chocolate work too. We’re sure white chocolate or butterscotch morsels would be tasty as well.
  4. Peanut Butter: For best results, use processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. We do not recommend oily or natural style peanut butter because the topping will separate.
  5. Topping Options: See blog post for other topping options.
  6. Cupcakes/Muffins: We haven’t tested this recipe as cupcakes, muffins, or mini muffins, so let us know if you do. We imagine it would work just fine, but aren’t sure of the quantity. We recommend following the same baking instructions (steps 1 and 3) as our banana muffins.
  7. 1 layer cake: This batter will fit in a 9-inch greased square pan and take about 45 minutes to bake through at 350°F (177°C). The batter will not fit or bake evenly in a 9-inch round cake pan.
  8. Bundt Cake: We haven’t tested this recipe as a bundt cake, but we recommend doubling the batter and using a 10-12 cup bundt cake pan. Bake at 350°F (177°C). We’re unsure of the best bake time. The batter, without doubling, would yield a very short bundt cake.
  9. Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together properly. Read here for more information.

Keywords: chocolate chip loaf cake

84 Comments

  1. Tasty little loaf here! Brilliant topping with pb and choc to take this simple loaf up a notch. I used parchment to lift it right out. Your tips and timing brought me success! Thanks Sally.

  2. Another amazing recipe. I made this yesterday and used all buttermilk. It was so good!

  3. Cynthia Porter says:

    Very rich and buttery. I topped with the melted chocolate and peanut butter but I would have enjoyed without it. A big hit for dessert.

  4. Can I replace chocolate chips with Pecan or dried fruits?
    Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We can’t see why not! Let us know if you give either a try, Irina.

  5. This tastes so good, Sally! I’d never had choc chip bread before, but I’m definitely making this again. Word of advice to future bakers though: use mini choc chips! Regular-sized ones sink to the bottom, and it’s more like just a sweet bread 😀

  6. I love chocolates and this is the recipe I’ll definitely try.

  7. simple and easy to make.
    not as moist as I would like (I used buttermilk instead of the milk and sour cream)

    1. I made this chocolate chip loaf cake and tried to follow all the suggestions carefully. It wasn’t moist like I thought it should be.

      1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Margaret, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! If your cake was dry / not moist, it’s possible it was simply over baked. Also, did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Did you make any ingredient substitutions? We’re happy to help troubleshoot further!

      2. I did use the spoon and level the flour. I didn’t make any substitutions. I checked it at 55 minutes and cooked it 5 minutes more so the tester came out clean.

  8. Thrifty Giblet says:

    I made a half recipe into 6 muffins or, as I’m calling them, individual snack cakes. Followed Sally’s advice and the baking instructions for banana muffins and baked these for 5 minutes at 425 and then dropped the oven temp to 350 for the rest of the time. I gave the cakes an extra two minutes in the oven but they’d turned just lightly brown at the edges before I took them out. I’d rather have pale cakes than overbaked ones. This recipe is definitely a winner.

  9. Sheila Calnan says:

    Things I did, as I did mini-loaf ones. Hope it helps, in some way.
    My oven is a bit wonky, but I’m used to it. Have not seen any real help with minis, so I winged it. I set the timer on the oven at 30 mins and my other timer at 45. At 15 mins I rotated and checked them. No where near done. Added 10 min bake time and checked after 5 mins. I would say, again my oven, they took just about 40 mins.
    By the way, I did bake them on a cookie sheet.
    I’ll post pictures of the minis, after I take them out of the oven.

  10. Sally, I did make this as a Bundt cake and doubled each ingredient (as suggested). The recipe worked perfectly!! I live at an altitude of 5000+ feet and the baking time in a cast iron Bundt pan was 55 minutes.

  11. Perfect little cake! I made exactly as written except baked it in a seven by eleven inch pan (I always seem to overbake loaves). It was moist and the glaze was just right. Will definitely make again!

    1. Emilee Johnson says:

      This turned out delicious and beautifully moist! I baked it for exactly 55 minutes and used a foil tent. I was worried that my chocolate chips might sink to the bottom since I didn’t have minis on hand, but they didn’t!

      Be careful to put the toothpick in the batter itself or double test it. I hit a chocolate chip at first and thought it wasn’t coming up “clean”.

  12. Can I substitute milk for almond milk or oat milk?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kat, either of those will work in a pinch. Enjoy!

  13. Wonderful recipe! Looks so appetising in the photo too!

  14. I’ve made this twice and everyone loves it! I also changed the recipe up a little the last time, and replaced the chocolate chips with blueberries. I switched the chocolate topping for the streusel topping from your blueberry muffin recipe, putting it on top with about 20 minutes left baking. It turned out great!

  15. I was bored this afternoon and also needed something new to serve the kids at snack time. Luckily I stumbled across this super simple recipe. I made this in a mini loaf pan so I can freeze it a pull out a mini loaf as needed. It made 5 of them. I decided not to add the topping. The cake was very light and moist. It reminded me of Tim Hortons chocolate chip muffin only better! Will be making it again!

  16. These are simple and fast to prepare and everyone enjoyed them!

  17. I’m not much of a baker but this recipe was simple enough for me to make it was delicious.
    I used greek yoghurt instead of plain.

  18. Patti Woodruff says:

    I bake treats for my friend and her co workers at the local hospital. They always give me great feedback. This wasn’t a winner, feedback was it was too dry. Possibly over mixing? I took out of oven when it tested clean with no crumbs. I’ll try again and be careful about mixing time.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patti, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! Dry cakes are usually the result of slightly over baking. For next time, you can try testing with a toothpick a minute or two earlier. Also be sure to properly measure your flour using the spoon and level or weight methods to ensure that there is not too much flour drying out your batter. Hopefully these tips are helpful for next time!

  19. Genevieve Rainone says:

    Made this last night! Was very easy. I actually doubled it and made two and froze one. Definitely make the chocolate PB icing. It was delicious. Thank you for all the explanations. I made sure everything was room temp and when I mixed it was happy to read that it would look slightly curdled. I am making the Boston Cream Pie on Friday for my hubbies Birthday. I love to bake and this website is my go-to!!! Everything always comes out amazing. Thank you Sally ❤️ Because of you I can bake!

  20. I made this last week and it was delish! I used chocolate ganache to top
    It – fabulous!

    Sally, your recipes are so thorough it’s a pleasure to follow!

    Looking forward to your next creation!

  21. Outstanding! I baked my batter into 12 muffins and I baked them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I didn’t follow the directions for baking your banana muffins. My oven is old and doesn’t do temperature change well. I read the comments while they were baking and was concerned they might be dry. They are moist and light and definitely taste like a quick bread /muffin, not overly sweet. I love the topping and will use that recipe again. Thanks for your recipes.

  22. Hello Sally
    I need to make this x3 times at once…..is that feasible…I know it may come out as more of a sheet typecakebut that is what I am after. Would it work to just triple everything?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anndrea! We recommend following this recipe for vanilla sheet cake and adding mini chocolate chips to that batter instead. Hope you love it!

      1. Thanks Trina but that recipe is for 12 people. I need to feed 30. Do i just triple this recipe?

  23. I tried this recipe for my first time baking, my dad had the cake hidden so nobody else could eat it!

  24. Mary Malina says:

    Could you make this in a 9” cake pan?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mary, unfortunately, this batter will not fit or bake evenly in a 9-inch round cake pan.

      1. Mary Malina says:

        Thanks, Lexi. Is there an alternative to the loaf pan?

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        A 9-inch greased square pan would work well, or, we have directions for muffins / cupcakes or a bundt pan in the recipe notes — let us know what you try!

      3. Mary Malina says:

        Thanks, Lexi. Can I use another type/size of pan other than a loaf pan?

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